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In the last five years, more than a million jobs have been lost in the United States, many of them due to the closure of plants, factories, or downsizing in shrinking companies. Millions more people have lost their jobs due to being fired, restructuring, or mergers in major corporations. Many thousands more are expected to lose their jobs in the year to come and that leads many to wonder what rights and benefits they have to help them recuperate and get back on their feet. This comprehensive guide to the laws and...
In the last five years, more than a million jobs have been lost in the United States, many of them due to the closure of plants, factories, or downsizing in shrinking companies. Millions more people have lost their jobs due to being fired, restructuring, or mergers in major corporations. Many thousands more are expected to lose their jobs in the year to come and that leads many to wonder what rights and benefits they have to help them recuperate and get back on their feet. This comprehensive guide to the laws and benefits provided to those individuals who have lost their jobs, for whatever reason, will help you discover exactly what you can do to ensure you have the resources you need to salvage your life and your career after losing a job.
A complete listing of the requirements your employer is bound to and the legal implications of your particular situation will be provided in multiple chapters broken down to reflect the various situations in which you lost your job. If you were laid off due to a factory closing, you will be given advice on how much of your retirement benefits you are entitled to, how much notice your employer is legally required to provide you (as per the WARN act), and what you can do in the final 60 days to shore up future employment. If your company downsizes, you will be given detailed descriptions of the laws that apply to your workplace according to where you work and how long you have worked there.
You will learn what opportunities the federal government provides to those who have lost their jobs, including unemployment benefits and welfare coverage. You will also learn about how you can take advantage of additional workforce training to further your technical skills. You will learn how to handle your taxes while unemployed. You will learn how to know if your firing was legal and if you have a legal basis to reproach your company for laying you off. If you were unfairly terminated, you will be shown how you can approach an attorney and what you need to provide to win your case.
Finally, you will be shown which resources and tools are available to help you get back on your feet, finding a new job that utilizes your skills and training. You will learn how you can modernize your skill set with additional training, seek out hiring services, and supplement your income between jobs with temporary or part-time opportunities. Hours of expert opinions have been gathered into this book from hiring managers, employment lawyers, and other experts in the field to help you know exactly what rights you have and what you can do to recover. If you have been laid off, fired, or unfairly terminated, this book will provide you with everything you need to minimize the stress and suffering of your situation and get back on your feet in no time.
Chapter 1 Before You Become Unemployed 21
Prepare Yourself Financially 23
Investigate Other Possibilities 24
Prepare Yourself Legally 25
Chapter 2 What are your Rights, Benefits, and Obligations? 31
Unemployment Insurance 31
Living Assistance 33
Notification - The WARN Act 34
Health Insurance - COBRA 37
Trade Act 37
Job Search Assistance 38
One-Stop Career Centers 38
Severance Pay 39
Other Components of the Severance Package 39
Timing of Payment 40
What Are Your Options? 40
Types of Unemployment 40
Chapter 3 Reduction in Force (RIF) 45
Reduction in Force 45
Temporary Layoffs/Furloughs 46
Your Rights and Resources 47
Temporary Furlough 47
Permanent Layoff 48
Your Employer's Obligations 48
Chapter 4 Closing/Bankruptcy 53
Business Closing/Bankruptcy 53
Your Rights and Resources 54
Your Employer's Obligations 55
Chapter 5 Faring 61
Firing with Cause 62
Firing without Cause 63
Wrongful Discharge 63
Illegal Discrimination 64
Your Rights 65
Your Employer's Obligations 66
An Employer's Obligations in a Termination with Cause 66
Sample Letter of Understanding 68
An Employer's Obligations in a Termination Without Cause 68
Chapter 6 Have You Been Fired Illegally? 71
Can You Sue Your Former Employer? 72
Employees Under Contract 72
Union Workers 73
Government Workers 73
Public Policy 77
Chapter 7 Considerations for a Lawsuit 81
Employment Contracts 82
Improper Notice Under the WARN Act 82
Filing an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Complaint 84
The Process of Challenging a Termination86
Deciding on a Settlement 88
Chapter 8 Working with an Attorney to Challenge a Termination 93
How to Find the Right Attorney 93
Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Attorney 94
What You Need to Provide Your Attorney 96
Chapter 9 Surviving Unemployment 101
Getting Help 102
Health Insurance 102
Mortgage Assistance 103
Assistance with Utilities 105
Food Stamps 106
Assistance with Debts 108
Coping Emotionally and Physically 110
Chapter 10 Budgeting 117
Analyzing Your Monthly Expenses 118
Analyzing Your Monthly Income 120
Reducing Expenses 121
Chapter 11 Generating Additional income 125
Home Equity Lines of Credit 127
Part-Time or Temporary Work 127
Monthly Budget 128
Handling Your Taxes 130
Chapter 12 Networking, Support Groups, and Qther Resources 135
Support Groups 137
Training Resources 137
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) 138
One-Stop Career Centers 139
Community Colleges 140
Chapter 13 The Job Hunt 145
Essential Elements of an Effective Job Search 145
Using an Employment Agency 147
Types of Employment Service Firms 148
Protecting Yourself 150
Print and Internet Ads 151
Job Fairs 152
Create Your Own Job 153
Chapter 14 Résumés and Cover Letters 155
The Biggest Mistakes of All 156
Résumé Styles 157
Web Résumés 159
Sample Chronological Résumé 160
Sample Functional Résumé 161
Sample Targeted Résumé 162
Writing the Cover Letter 167
Types of Cover Letters 172
The Solicited Response 172
Letters to a Recruitment Agency 172
"Cold-Call" Letters 173
Online Cover Letters 174
Writing a Cover Letter After Being Fired or Laid Off 174
Sample Cover Letters 175
Sample Solicited Response Cover Letter 177
Sample Cover Letter to a Recruiter 178
Sample "Cold-call" Cover Letter 180
Sample Online Cover Letter 181
Chapter 15 The Job interview 185
Preparing for an Interview 185
Sample Thank-you/Follow-up Letter 188
How to Handle your Termination in an Interview 189
Moving On: What Losing a Job Taught Me 193
Appendix A Glossary 195
Appendix B Federal Whistieblower Protection Laws 199
Appendix C Resources by State 205
Breakdown of State Discrimination Laws 205
Dislocated Worker Assistance Centers by State 223
State Living Assistance Programs 230
State Departments of Labor 237
Legal Services Corporation State Offices 243
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) 259
State Civil Rights Offices 269
State Workforce Investment Act Offices 276
State Health Insurance Continuation Laws 285
LIHEAP State Grantees 307
OSHA Offices - To Report Whistleblower Discrimination 331
Small Business Administration (SBA) offices 334
State Rapid Response Coordinators 339
Appendix D Resources 351
Appendix E Bibliography 353
Author Biography 355
Posted February 24, 2010
With today's economy and the way the job market is headed, this book is a must read for anyone who is gainfully employed. I found this book to be very informational and will remember some of the strategies needed to use if I ever lose my job in the future.
The book offers a very detailed table of contents and case studies throughout the book. There is a detailed glossary of terms and also a very extensive state by state listing of all services that are available from heating assistance, food stamps, and legal avenues.
The author gives very good advice on how to handle things if you are fired and even how to prepare yourself for when you do get fired or laid off. The author gives types of warning signs to look for and where to find outside sources of warning signs. The author even goes on how to handle the job interview process when you are back the market trying to find a job.
This book is an easy read with lots of details and explanations. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is employed and plans on seeking employment.
Posted February 23, 2010
If you think your job is currently at risk (aren't they all in these times) this book is a must read. There is a great deal of information on where to start when you wake up the day after you have been laid off or fired. It also presents the situation in a hopeful way that will help keep your mood afloat during this extremely horrible situation. It provides a solid general layout of what to do and how to do it, along with specific resources for you to conduct more personalized research. It gives good general information on your rights and where to find additional information. The case studies are nice and inspiring, which help prevent you from thinking about the negative and often devastating effects of unemployment that can happen. Overall, the book is a positive outlook on how to make your life better and put a positive spin on being canned.
However, please note the book may not seem as helpful if you have been out of work for a while. As stated, these are beginning steps that most people should have taken within six months of being terminated. If you are someone who has been out of work long term the steps in this book are most likely already explored.
Posted February 5, 2010
Ordered chronologically by steps, this book has everything, including how to prepare yourself before you lose your job, how to protect yourself legally during the process, how to protect yourself financially (including health insurance!), and how to get back on your feet afterwards. It's like a how-to book on every process related to jobs, before, during, and after. Even if you haven't been laid-off/fired yet and are just considering your options, this book is a great source of information. Book gives how-to's on job fairs, resumes, cover letters, interviews, and much, much more. Case studies are very helpful. Each case study gives a detailed account of showcased person's experience and subsequent advice to others. The appendix at the end is very useful. It contains several resources, laws and contact information, sometimes even separated by state (as are parts of the book, making it an easy go-to guide). To keep readers from falling asleep, there are very entertaining pictures sprinkled throughout the book. (I especially like the one on p.44). However, the book is targeted towards jobs with corporate industries. Some chapters may not apply if you're employed as part of an university or research organization. Still, there's enough information in this book that applies to all job types.
Overall, the book contains tips and facts that are good to keep in mind, regardless of employment status. Though some of the advice we've probably all heard at least a hundred times, everyone should be aware of all their legal rights, especially during the current economic situation. Like the foreword says, "If you choose to read this book before you are fired, you will learn exactly what to do to prepare yourself financially and legally before it is too late." In other words, better safe than sorry. Pick it up - you won't regret it. And don't feel embarrassed when you do; you'll be much better off and ahead of the game than the rest of crowd when crisis strikes. And to top it off, buying the book will save animals. You can feel that you contributed to a good cause because a portion of your purchase will go to The Humane Society of United States).
Posted January 14, 2010
PK Fontana's book, 'What to Do When You Are Fired or Laid Off", is a somber and resourceful guide that covers a variety of bases, and then some, of every gainfully employed persons worst nightmare. While I find some fault with the 'when' rather than 'if' clause that the title presents (as if this is a given that we all soon will be one or the other, a fact which seems somewhat too prophetic for my liking), the advice is practical and sound and provides genuinely valuable advice to the recently unemployed.
It cannot be argued that times are unsettling indeed, and Fontana ranges across a gamut of wisdom from discerning whether or not your firing may be illegal to walking you through the steps for filing an EEOC complaint. Other timely tips include options for assistance and cover the expected offerings such as Food Stamps and Utility Assistance, and are decidedly helpful even if a little dry on the reading.
It is unfortunate that the title will likely appeal only to those that are the recently laid off or fired. Frankly, this is a good go-to read for anyone currently working, if only to keep a calm head and get the right information before you walk (or are escorted) out the door. There are any number of rights that working people have due them, and often under the emotional chaos of being laid off those opportunities are quaffed altogether too quickly. Knowing your rights before you are let go is critical, and Fontana succinctly underscores the essentials putting that knowledge directly where it belongs - in your hands.
Posted January 12, 2010
Our countries current economic status makes this book extremely relevant and helpful to readers. Within the first few chapters I could think of several people I know who are going through similar situations and may not know which direction to head in. Basically, this book came out at a great time to actually help people.
The case studies of other people that have been fired or laid off can assist readers when making decisions about their own future. The author uses excellent examples of the average worker who has been fired and explains where they went from there. Chapter nine, titled "Surviving Unemployment", was one of the best chapters in the book. It advises you on how to handle insurance and mortgages, informs you on how to get food stamps or other benefits, and even addresses the emotional strain the reader may feel. This chapter got down to many of the core issues readers may be worried about, all in an easy to read manner.
Another great thing about this book is the detail the author gives even when he is done giving suggestions about challenging a termination and contracts with employers. He informs the reader on how to get back into the field and make a resume/cover letter and how to prepare for an interview. Not only is this a great book for someone who has recently been fired or laid off, it also gives legitimate suggestions for how the reader should think going into the future.